August 6th   Leave a comment

Even if you never look at insects you won’t have missed that there are a lot of hoverflies about. Crail is full of them and if you stop for long enough you can get covered by them, particularly if you are wearing a bright or flowery shirt. They mimic wasps and bees but they are very gentle and perfectly harmless. They are often the victim of mistaken identity. This is a shame because they are very beautiful close up and their hovering and flying is second to none. And ecologically they are great – pollinating things and as larvae, many species eat aphids and thrips that are major plant pests. Some of the species in Crail are migrants as well. Spreading northwards as the summer progresses and arriving from the Continent. It’s one thing to be amazed at a goldcrest, at 6 grams, crossing the North Sea, but something else to contemplate a hoverfly at a few tens of milligrams doing the same.

Three species of hoverfly in my garden this evening and a wasp – easy to tell the difference. Hoverflies have fly eyes, short antennae and don’t have wasp waists

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Posted August 6, 2018 by aboutcrail in Sightings

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